Package weight: .5 ounce
Native to Asia, basil is now grown commercially in California, Africa and many European countries. There are dozens of varieties of basil, the most popular in the U. S. is the large-leaved sweet Italian basil. The dominant flavor in basil is a licorice taste.
*Use to flavor tomato, orange and lemon juices.
*Flavor vinegar to be used in making salad dressings and marinades.
*Include in soups, especially tomato-based soups.
*This is one of the key ingredients in tomato-based sauces for pasta.
*Season orange-based sauces and glazes, whether sweet or savory, for meats and vegetables.
*Excellent in fruit dishes.
*Sprinkle over sliced tomatoes along with a drizzle of oil and a splash of vinegar.
*Stir into cream cheese, cottage cheese, cheese dips and sandwich spreads.
*Add an herbal taste to chicken salad, egg salad and deviled eggs.
*Fish sauces and broiled fish respond to the licorice flavors of basil.
*Fresh or cooked; sautéed or in casserole, season vegetables, especially tomatoes, eggplant, onions and green peas.
*Sprinkle on top of buttered bread along with oregano and Parmesan cheese before toasting under the broiler.
*Blend with chopped meats and sausage.
*Stir into butter sauces for fish and vegetables.
RECIPE: Brie With Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 pound Brie cheese
1 tablespoon DRIED CHERVIL
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
4 sun-dried tomatoes pack in oil, minced, reserving 1 tablespoon of the oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
Remove the rind from the Brie and place on a serving platter. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, adding more oil from the tomatoes if the dressing is too dry.
Spread this mixture over the Brie and allow to stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. This may be done the day before if more convenient. Store in the refrigerator overnight and place at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
*Serve with crackers, toast points, bagel or pita chips.
*This is a wonderful hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail party, or a carry-along dish to a tailgate party.
RECIPE: Tomato Carrot Soup
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 12-ounce can tomato juice
2 10-ounce cans vegetable or chicken broth + 1 soup can water
1 and 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
1/4 teaspoon FINE-GRIND WHITE PEPPER
Place all in a soup kettle and simmer 30 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth.
*Garnish with oyster crackers or buttered croutons; minced green onions, Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh tomatoes.
*Stir in 1/2 cup cream or half and half after you puree; reheat, do not cook further.
*Toasted French bread and a salad make this part of a simple lunch.
*This is an elegant luncheon first course served with chicken salad or quiche.
*Simmer, uncovered, for an extra 15-20 minutes to reduce; then, use as a sauce for casseroles, broiled chicken breasts or pork chops.
*Go a step further and add fresh or frozen spinach after you puree the soup. Cook an additional 20 minutes.
*A cup of cooked rice or small pasta shells may be added after you puree the soup. Return to pan and reheat before serving.
Yield: 4-6 servings
RECIPE: Italian BLT Croissants
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 3-ounce package goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup oil-pack sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon DRIED BASIL
4 large croissants, split
16 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
Enough leaf lettuce for 4 sandwiches
Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, tomatoes and basil; chill about 8 hours or overnight.
Allow to soften at room temperature before spreading cheese mixture on each croissant half. Top bottom half of croissant with 4 slices bacon and lettuce. Place top half on sandwich and slice down the center.
*Serve with a light bouillon-based soup and a salad.
*Instead of using this spread for sandwiches, omit the bacon or crumble it up into the cheese mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Serve as a dip with crackers, bagel or pita chips.
Yield: 4 servings